My favourite characters to write about…

… are always strong, beautiful women!

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Lieutenant Lynne Crawford as I envision her in my sci-fi novella The Guardian

 

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Céleste as I always imagined her in my sci-fi novel of the same name.

 

There are a few more, but the photographs of the two ladies who inspired me to create Lynne and Céleste will suffice as perfect examples…

It’s a fact that with every book I write, I push the envelope that little bit further. If you have ever read any of them you will know that without exception each and every one of my female characters is not only loyal, feisty, beautiful and strong minded, but also vulnerable and extremely feminine.

When it comes to creating each of them I always ask myself what it is about them that would make me a mere male, sit up and take notice. It is true to say that with each principle female character that I have created over the years, while writing about them, inevitably I always fall head over heels in love with the idea of them, even now, a few days into the beginning of my seventh decade. There I go bearing my soul to you…

By now the more astute among you will have deduced that I adore any and all women exhibiting all of the above qualities, even if I have never actually been lucky enough to share my life with one.

Remember, no matter the age of the writer, we’re all still human. By that I mean that specific characters we create, we absolutely want to get to know, even though they’re only in a story. The beautiful Céleste was the latest in a long line of leading ladies who I was privileged to spend time with – lucky, lucky me…  😉

As their creator, while any story I come up with tends to write itself, I still hold the ultimate power of life and death over my characters. All I’ll add to that is to say my male characters had better treat my leading ladies right – or else!

In the past I have merely skirted around any love affair between my hero and the woman in his life by employing the old writer’s standbys of insinuation, inference and allusion when it comes to what is actually going on between them. Like most writers of my acquaintance, I leave anything which could be described as pornographic to the E.L James’ of this world. Besides which, my publisher (Amazon KDP) would never agree to publish it if it was. This is something every writer has to bear in mind when writing about what their characters get up to in private, especially when dealing with some American publishers…

PS – I defy any male reader not to at the very least fall in lust with my ladies when they read about them.

PPS – I kept a copy of the above photographs handy while writing The Guardian and Céleste WIPs, purely for the purposes of inspiration and soul searching you understand. At least that’s what I still tell myself.

Oh to be their age again (sigh)…

😉

 

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Journey’s end – well almost!

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The end of the final chapter of Céleste’s tale is in sight. I now have to decide which one of a number of endings I have in mind, is the one I eventually settle upon.

Decisions, decisions…

I freely admit, it’s not often that I wish I could carry on writing a particular story quite literaly for ever. But in this instance, that’s exactly how I feel. I’ve fallen head over heels in love with Céleste as I do with each of my heroines, every time I write a new story. Nothing unusual there.

As for how I feel about her fellow travellers, Rieko, Andreas, Flávia, Lukas and David, ours is the kind of love/hate relationship familiar to everyone at work or at home. You will understand what I mean when you are able read the Ebook version for yourselves in a few short weeks from now, after I’ve reformatted and checked it one last time, prior to publishing.

Back to the choice of ending – do I allow them to all live happily ever after? Perhaps one or more of them dies? Maybe something untoward happens to my darling Céleste?

Whoa, that last one is not going to happen!

If you think for one moment that I would allow anyone or anything to harm a hair on her beautiful head, you can forget it! I mean to say, would you wish her harm, or any woman come to that? I could never bring myself to think along those lines in real life, let alone in this instance for crying out loud!

“Oh for god’s sake Eason, get a grip!” I hear you cry.

I know, I know, Céleste is only a figment of my imagination, but even so… When it comes to the female of the species, real or imaginary, I’m a romantic, so shoot me!

Back to business – apart from the first two options, I have a few more possibilities up my metaphoric sleeve. Then again, perhaps I could simply leave the story hanging, inferring there was more to come?

In that regard, at the moment for a sequel to be on the cards depends on whether or not all of you liked reading Céleste’s tale of love, hate, revenge and danger among the stars in the first place.

In other words, if after reading it, let us say that between fifty and a hundred of you spread the word by positively reviewing the novella on your own blogs and anywhere else you can think of, preferably before you think of including it on Amazon, by telling everyone how much you loved reading the book, in return I’ll be more than happy to oblige you with a sequel. Whether or not I eventually publish a paperback version, also depends on how the Ebook is received.

Thanks folks, that’s all for now. I’ve got some more thinking to do…

Love you all, take care,

Jack

😉

The last chapter beckons – or does it???

CELESTE cover 8,5 x 11

With five chapters done and dusted, at the moment from my point of view, I only need to write just one more for Céleste to be novella length – approx thirty thousand words. It’s already knocking on twenty-seven thousand as it is.

For a while there I briefly toyed with the idea of maybe expanding it to fifty-thousand. But I quickly abandoned that notion simply because that would mean slowing the pace of the story, by bogging it down in mind numbing info dumps. To my great shame, I’ve done it in the past to pad out a story. No one wants that kind of thing interrupting the story line, myself included if I’m being brutaly honest.

So at 2am yesterday morning, once again I began the thought process necessary to carefully come up with all of chapter six’s twists and turns and maybe even an ultimate twist at the end, or not, as the case may be. Only time will tell when it comes to the latter point.

Meanwhile while I’m doing that, I’m also going back over the previous five chapters once again as I’ve done each time I’ve completed a chapter, looking for errors, inconsistencies, etc, etc while bearing in mind what both my fellow writers Nicholas Rossis and Derek Haines, have already commented on after they were good enought to read the .pdf copy I sent to them a week or so back.

Click on their highlighted names above to see their books on Amazon.com.

Now ladies and gentlemen I’d better get back to work, writing about Céleste and her love affair with David O’Leary, demands all of my time, not that I’m complaining mind you. Face facts, if you were me and you found yourself briefly sharing your life with an absolute stunner of a woman, albeit only in your mind, would you complain?

She’s got David firmly wrapped around her perfectly manicured little finger in the story. For him and me its a case of whatever Céleste wants, she gets. What can I tell you, we’re both madly in love with her. Were he real and we happened to meet, I would gladly punch him on the nose. That’s how jealous I have become of their relationship. Will I kill off the man she loves? We’ll see…

Now before you go, do yourselves a huge favour and click on her cover above to take a closer look at the fictitious women David and I positively worship before you hit the return key on your computer’s keyboard.

Thanks folks, more later,

Jack

😀

Another Progress Report

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Just a quick progress report for you all. Firstly I realized the other day that the names I had decided on for my female character’s all start with the letter ‘C’. Knowing how the internet trolls love to pounce on trivialities like that I’ve made changes. So, besides Céleste the other two ladies are now referred to as Flávia and Rieko.

In the meanwhile I’ve just introduced a few more players into the mix. Take a look at the following passage where David is about to reveal who and what they are to Andreas and Lukas:

“Remember when you asked if Céleste could do something for you like she did for me all those years ago my friend? Well your wish is about to come true, only not necessarily in the way you and I originally envisaged it might happen. One of the ancient intelligences Céleste and I met inside turns out to be female. Her name is Lilith. Does that name ring a bell with either of you by any chance? No. Well it damn well should. She and the rest of them were once worshipped as gods and goddesses by the Sumerians and Akkadians thousands of years ago back on Earth; and in all likelihood by other equally superstitious peoples prior to that specific chapter in Earth’s relatively short history of human occupation. One thing though, before either of you open your mouths in her presence, if I were you I’d mind what I say. We all know how formidable Céleste can be at times when crossed, am I right? Well prepare to meet someone potentially far more so gentlemen,” he added with a huge grin on his heavily sweat encrusted face. For the doctor to be able to fulfil his desire to share his life with a beautiful female companion like Céleste, might become a distinct possibility in the near future once he had got over the shock of what was about to happen where Flávia is concerned that is.

~~~

So there you have it for the moment. A lot has already happened to Apkallu and her crew in the twenty-three thousand plus words I’ve written so far. The story is now about to take a different direction, meaning yet more danger and unexpected encounters for them all…

More later,

Jack

PS – things are really hotting up between my two main characters David, and the drop dead gorgeous artificial intelligence Céleste, as their love affair grows. However, like all relationships theirs has its share of decidedly rocky moments as well as its tender ones.

To borrow from Lysander in William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream –

“Ay me! For aught that I could ever read,

Could ever hear by tale or history,

The course of true love never did run smooth.

But either it was different in blood—”

So why should it be any different where Céleste and David are concerned I have to ask myself?

😀

My favourite subject as a writer – my leading ladies

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My latest leading lady – Lieutenant Lynne Crawford as I envision her

❤ xxx

***

It’s a fact that with every book I write, I push the envelope that bit further. If you have ever read any of them you will know that without exception each and every one of my female characters is not only loyal, fiesty, beautiful and strong minded, but also determined and vulnerable. In my latest scifi WIP, The Guardian, Lieutenant Lynne Crawford is no different.

When it comes to creating each of them I always ask myself what it is about them that would make me, as a mere male, sit up and take notice. It is true to say that with each principal female character that I have created over the years, while writing about them, inevitably I always fall head over heels in love, even today at my age (67). After bearing my soul somewhat, by now the more astute among you will have deduced that I adore any and all women exhibiting all of the above qualities.

Remember, no matter the age of the writer, we’re all still human. By that I mean that specific characters we create, we absolutely want to get to know, even though its only in a story. The beautiful Lynne is the latest in a long line of my leading ladies who I’m currently spending time with – lucky, lucky me.  😉

With no more distractions other than my blog to contend with, I’m now back working full time on The Guardian, adding more personal details about my characters, not just Lynne. I have to say, the more she and Adler fall in love, the more I grow jealous of him. At this stage of the game I’m really beginning to hate him!

As their creator, while any story I come up with tends to write itself, I still hold the ultimate power of life and death over my characters. All I’ll add to that is to say he’d better treat her right – or else!

While I’m still uncertain how the story will end, I can tell you this, the love affair between them is rapidly gaining a full head of steam. To that end I’m leaving little to the reader’s undoubted vivid imagination when it comes to their relationship, as you will find earlier on in the story when I describe her on the day when Adler first encounters her out of uniform, dressed in civvies.

In the past I have merely skirted around any love affair between my hero and the woman in his life by employing the old writer’s standbys of insinuation, inference and allusion when it comes to what is actually going on between them. But not this time round. Because of the way the story is now developing, it demands that I spell this love affair out to a certain extent, making it definitely not a read for kids – i.e young adults. By that I mean that it has clearly wound up within the classification of erotic science fiction.

Like most writers of my aquaintance, I leave anything which could be vaguely described as pornographic to the E.L James’ of this world. Besides which, my publisher (Amazon KDP) would never agree to publish it if it was – something every writer has to bear in mind when writing about what their characters get up to in private, especially when dealing with some American publishers.

Now I’d better get back to it. The lovers will be waking soon along with everyone else. I left them all utterly exhausted after their last encounter with The Guardian.

PS – I defy any male reader not to fall in lust with my Lynne when they read the book.

PPS – I keep a copy of the above photograph handy while I’m writing The Guardian WIP, purely for the purposes of inspiration and soul searching you understand. At least that’s what I tell myself.

Oh to be her age again (sigh)…

😉

#The Guardian #Progress Report No: 8

If you have been following all of my posts, you will have seen in Tuesday’s post how I go about visualising my female characters when writing my books.

https://havewehadhelp.wordpress.com/2015/02/24/visualising-my-female-characters/

In it I mentioned the fact that I was still searching for a photograph, illustration or painting of a beautiful, full bodied honey blond who says Lynne Crawford to me. If you are wondering, she is my primary female character in The Guardian. While chatting via Facebook on Tuesday night to Robynn Gabel, a fellow writer, and dear friend of mine, she pointed out the blindingly obvious – why not simply Google honey blonds and see what’s on offer. Sometimes, like a lot of other writers, I get so totally engrossed with the mechanics of writing a story, that often I don’t see the wood for the trees. Following her advice, I finally found Lynne.

Here she is:

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I have absolutely no idea who the beautiful young woman is. But for my purposes, what is important is that hers is the image (near as dammit) which I’ve been carrying round in my head for several months now, of how I imagine Lynne looks. Before any of you who are familiar with my description of her in past progress reports feel the need to say anything, yes I do realise that her hairdo is not Lynne’s trademark severe crew cut. This is how my hero Adler, and myself I might add, eventually want her to look. Always providing that he can convince her to let her soft honey blond hair grow that is. Maybe I’ve already pursuaded him to convince her. Maybe I haven’t. You will have to wait to find out when you read The Guardian won’t you.

***

Now for an update on the progress I’m making in writing the first draft of The Guardian. Yesterday morning I finally passed the ten thousand word mark while still writing chapter five. Why has it taken me so long to reach that number of words? Because with each twist and turn of the plot, I seriously need to think about it before I commit to this laptop’s screen. Plus I need to ensure that each and every word is not only correct, but also relevant. Every problem I can eliminate now, during the process of writing the first draft, is one less to worry about once I begin editing, expanding or contracting later on.

At least one thing is finally sorted out – the cover. I know that I’ve previously produced it here. But not everyone who follows my blog will necessarily have seen it. So for those who missed it, here it is:

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Finally – purely for anyone who may be interested, here is my list of characters:

Major Adler Stevens – ex UK Military Police
Lieutenant Lynne Crawford – ex fighter-bomber pilot Canadian Airforce
Professor Ephraim Adelmann – speciality, ancient languages
Captain Brett Abbot – ex Royal Marines – speciality, sniping and close quarter assassination
Master Sergeant Clifford Mayhew Jr – ex US Special Forces – speciality, demolitions
Sergeant Bayla Lombroso – ex Israeli Defence Force – speciality, medic
Lieutenant Moshe Baranovichi – ex Israeli Defence Force – childhood friend of Bayla – speciality, rifleman
Lieutenant-commander Karin Haigh – ex US Navy Seal – speciality, electronic warfare (satellite eavesdropping)
Captain Phillipe Bordeaux – ex Armée de terre (French Army) – speciality, sharpshooter
Senior Praporshchik (Senior Warrant Officer) Anatole Belakov – ex Vozdushno Desantnye Voyska (Russian Airborn Troops) – speciality, Light Machine Gunner

Plus, let us not forget the whole reason for writing this book in the first place, The Guardian itself, which will remain an enigma as far as all of them are concerned for some time to come.

PS – Did you notice the hashtags in the post title? I’ve finally decided to take Chris the story reading ape’s advice to use them to help spread the word about The Guardian. Only time will tell if they work. He reassures me that they do. We’ll see…

More later

😉

Visualising My Female Characters

When it comes to the female characters in my books, I grow extremely fond of every one of them, even the evil ones. What can I say, when it comes to my fictional women, whatever they want me to say about them, happens. You would comply too if you have ever tried putting words in your female character’s mouth that you know full well she would never ever utter, or tried forcing her into a particular situation which a woman like her would never ever willingly enter into.

Believe me, when you live with one of them in your head as I do each time I write a book, for the sake of your sanity and a quiet life, you do as your character demands. If you think you are creating a character, forget it, your not. They creat and reveal themselves. All you as the writer have to do is listen to what they are saying. Having said that, before you reach for the phone to call the men in white coats to take me away in a straight-jacket, no I’m not mad. I’m just a writer.

It helps me enormously if I can either find a photograph of a particular individual closely resembling who I have in mind, or perhaps even an illustration or painting. For instance, in my best selling scifi adventure novel The Seventh Age, I needed to get a clear image in my head of the principal female character, an alien who tracks and protects the hero Nick Palmer, wherever he goes. It wasn’t until I was reading the late Mac Tonnies’ blog one day, that I came across the artwork for the cover of his book The Cryptoterrestrials, which I immediately bought a copy of, and thoroughly enjoyed reading. Staring back at me from the cover exactly as I had always imagined her, was the hauntingly beautiful face of Ithis, the androgynous alien inhabiting my mind at the time.

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When it came to writing my recent novella Cataclysm last year, the story has two strong feminine characters, Arianna a beautiful example of the third gender, who the hero Gilbert Briggs, falls head over heels in love with, and her nemesis Taliva, another member of the same Apex race as Arianna whose ancestors are responsible for creating mankind, as a docile slave race in the novella. In both cases it helped when I found two particular photographs. The one I used for Cataclysm’s cover depicting Taliva, is actually a photo of a mannequin.

Cataclysm

The other photograph which I came across while looking for an image that said Arianna to me is this one. The fact that the beautiful human being pictured is a real life Arianna, is neither here nor there.

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On the other hand when it comes to any of my male characters, I don’t need any form of visual representation. I find them much easier to come to terms with. All I need is to get their various physical characteristics, character traits, faults and prejudices etc firmly fixed in my mind for the duration of the write.

As for my current work in progress, The Guardian, when it comes to my latest heroine I’m still looking for a photograph that says Lynne Crawford to me. So if anyone knows of a photograph, illustration or painting, depicting a beautiful full bodied woman with honey blond hair in the form of a crew cut hairdo…

In the meantime the picture I currently have of her in my head will have to suffice. Not to worry. One day soon I will eventually find a representation of her, just as I did for all my others, hopefully before I’m halfway through writing my WIP.

😉